page from Alfred Beesley, The History of Banbury: Including Copious Historical and Antiquarian Notices of the Neighborhood

Go on to Salt Way, walk that third corporeal of the mystical triprime. Arrive to Banbury. See the devils possessing the swine at the tavern Cock. Find Al Beesley, find him speaking to John Derick, Mr. John Macduff Derick, architect, admirer of stone, find them speaking, find them weaving tales of the town’s Black Grounds, of the whitewash of centuries, find Derick the scholar bought another pint to discuss the cornice, a foamy sip as he differentiates, cornice at Alkerton Church, lattice at Horley, a Norman influence retained, for this dust has seen centuries!

And of the cornice, yea, above a mute sedilia, a frail memory obliterated. A work of design, he says, here, page 143, a work of design, not a freak of fancy. I saw him with ale on his stache. Speaking of the cornice, wherein minuscule carvings portray an ass and a hare, and an evil one, the evil one close at hand, and men among whom he creeps. Men he says in mortal strife, men fooled by stealth and glamour, men fooled by music into listlessness, despair, souls at hazard, in the time of James the First, well before. And of a druidic henge, at Rollrich, a stone’s throw south, ruins from iam olim. In their dumb facades is a Banbury tale.


Spring 1836

Coppe’s return . . . . . . . pseudo-Frederick . . . . . . . second law . . . . . . . guide to roping

at Mainz . . . . . . . horizons . . . . . . . at Banbury . . . . . . . Rabelais his mark . . . . . . . twice divested